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Cron

Is There Anything On The Show That You Think Is Better Than The Books?

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Very few things by season #5, and nothing in season #6, which admittedly has mostly surpassed the books. The few things I can think of that Iiked better in #5 were:

  • No Penny
  • An expanded role for Bronn
  • Someone (Aemon) managed to die purely of old age
  • Kindly Jaqen
  • Stannis's early scene with Shireen when he had her greyscale cured. (Pity that was completely ruined/contradicted later.)
  • High Sparrow

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20 hours ago, CaptainTheo said:

Very few things by season #5, and nothing in season #6, which admittedly has mostly surpassed the books. The few things I can think of that Iiked better in #5 were:

  • No Penny
  • An expanded role for Bronn
  • Someone (Aemon) managed to die purely of old age
  • Kindly Jaqen
  • Stannis's early scene with Shireen when he had her greyscale cured. (Pity that was completely ruined/contradicted later.)
  • High Sparrow

Good stuff.

My thoughts:

Penny:  I would have been fine with or without her in the show, but I understand the show didn't have time to dwell on that period of Tyrion's life.

Bronn:  I strongly agree, he's much better in the show. (in fact, it there's a spin-off, I hope he makes appearances)

Aemon dying of old age:  Yeah, that was cool, but didn't he die of old age in the books?  Or was he sick or something? I don't recall (I've read all books twice, but most recent reading was 6 years ago)

Jaqen:  Agreed.

Stannis: I strongly agree with everything you wrote.  Indeed, if you watch those scenes, it's incredible.  Stannis goes from being appalled by Mel's suggestion that they burn Shireen (as I recall he asks her if she's gone "mad" and tells her to "get out") to going along with the burning of Shireen almost immediately, and that's in addition to the great point you raise about how contrary it was to other scenes with Stannis and Shireen (Stannis risked the lives of everyone on Dragonstone to save Shireen, including his own life).

 High Sparrow:  I'm not a High Sparrow fan.  I think he's a hypocrite and a fraud, and was exposed as such a number of times (by Olenna, Cersei, and Jaime)

Great discussion, thanks for contributing.

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3 hours ago, Cron said:

Good stuff.

My thoughts:

Penny:  I would have been fine with or without her in the show, but I understand the show didn't have time to dwell on that period of Tyrion's life.

Bronn:  I strongly agree, he's much better in the show. (in fact, it there's a spin-off, I hope he makes appearances)

Aemon dying of old age:  Yeah, that was cool, but didn't he die of old age in the books?  Or was he sick or something? I don't recall (I've read all books twice, but most recent reading was 6 years ago)

Jaqen:  Agreed.

Stannis: I strongly agree with everything you wrote.  Indeed, if you watch those scenes, it's incredible.  Stannis goes from being appalled by Mel's suggestion that they burn Shireen (as I recall he asks her if she's gone "mad" and tells her to "get out") to going along with the burning of Shireen almost immediately, and that's in addition to the great point you raise about how contrary it was to other scenes with Stannis and Shireen (Stannis risked the lives of everyone on Dragonstone to save Shireen, including his own life).

 High Sparrow:  I'm not a High Sparrow fan.  I think he's a hypocrite and a fraud, and was exposed as such a number of times (by Olenna, Cersei, and Jaime)

Great discussion, thanks for contributing.

Thanks for the positive feedback :-) Aemon in the books died on an ocean voyage with Sam and Gilly as sea travel was too much for him at that age; Jon sent him and Mance's baby on it so that Mel couldn't burn them.

I agree that the High Sparrow is not a good man. I included him because I found him to be entertaining and well-acted.

Yep Stannis that was unbelievable I even mentioned in another post how he did a 180 re burning his heir between episode #7 and his next appearance in episode #9. It doesn't stop show apologists arguing with me trying to explain how that along with Faullaria murdering Myrcella and the rest of the Dornish royal family and getting to rule Dorne made any sense whatsoever.  Stannis's storyline in season #5 was looking promising until then, he even seemed to be getting a lot more screen time than in previous seasons. It's as D&D suddenly decided, "we hate Stannis, let's assassinate his character in every possible way".

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On 1/24/2017 at 6:09 PM, CaptainTheo said:

Thanks for the positive feedback :-) Aemon in the books died on an ocean voyage with Sam and Gilly as sea travel was too much for him at that age; Jon sent him and Mance's baby on it so that Mel couldn't burn them.

I agree that the High Sparrow is not a good man. I included him because I found him to be entertaining and well-acted.

Yep Stannis that was unbelievable I even mentioned in another post how he did a 180 re burning his heir between episode #7 and his next appearance in episode #9. It doesn't stop show apologists arguing with me trying to explain how that along with Faullaria murdering Myrcella and the rest of the Dornish royal family and getting to rule Dorne made any sense whatsoever.  Stannis's storyline in season #5 was looking promising until then, he even seemed to be getting a lot more screen time than in previous seasons. It's as D&D suddenly decided, "we hate Stannis, let's assassinate his character in every possible way".

Yeah, as far as I know you're right to question how Ellaria became the ruler of Dorne.  I think at a bare minimum it's something that should have been explained a lot better (maybe rules of succession in Dorne somehow explain it???).  It's possible there are plausible explanations, but they just weren't explained.  

There are a lot of similar questions about how Cersei became queen after Tommen died, too.  Again, it's possible it makes sense, we just weren't told.  

However, I am by no means claiming you're wrong, I think it's just about equally possible that there is no good explanation for either case (Ellaria and Cersei) and it will be glossed over and never addressed, especially in light of how precious and limited their remaining time to wrap the whole thing up is (13 episodes)

And yes, we strongly agree about the Stannis stuff, but I think there's one other thing worth mentioning.  My very strong memory is that in the "after-episode comments" for the episode in which Shireen was burned, one of the show runners explicitly states that the burning of Shireen comes straight from GRRM (as I recall, the showrunner was talking about their reaction when GRRM told them about the burning of Shireen), and thus it is canon.  

As a result, it's hard to say how much the show is to blame for assassinating Stannis' character.  Don't get me wrong, though, I do agree that, even if GRRM described something similar to them, the show did the transition in Stannis' position VERY abruptly and clumsily, as you and I have been saying.  

The show has done many great things, and I don't want to lose sight of that (and I often give the showrunners credit), but it's also true that there are parts that really feel like they were just slapped together and don't make a whole lot of sense, especially after the show moved beyond the source material from the books (other excellent examples:   Jon at the Battle of the Bastards, a sequence which is epic and a lot of fun to watch, but which also includes numerous highly implausible things, and Arya's final fight with the Waif, which was off the charts implausible unless Lady Crane had some healing magic in that potion or whatever she had.  In fact, I'm still holding out hope that we are going to be told that she did have such healing magic, cuz otherwise it's just absurd to think Arya could have done the things she did after being stabbed multiple times in the abdomen like that.)

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16 hours ago, Cron said:

And yes, we strongly agree about the Stannis stuff, but I think there's one other thing worth mentioning.  My very strong memory is that in the "after-episode comments" for the episode in which Shireen was burned, one of the show runners explicitly states that the burning of Shireen comes straight from GRRM (as I recall, the showrunner was talking about their reaction when GRRM told them about the burning of Shireen), and thus it is canon.  

As a result, it's hard to say how much the show is to blame for assassinating Stannis' character.  Don't get me wrong, though, I do agree that, even if GRRM described something similar to them, the show did the transition in Stannis' position VERY abruptly and clumsily, as you and I have been saying.  

Re Shireen getting burned, I was aware that this would also occur in the books, but under the impression that this was likely performed unilaterally by Mel, with Stannis not having any sort of role in it, given that Stannis is near Winterfell, while Mel, Selyse and Shireen are all at the Wall.

Admittedly I have not listened to the after-episode comments.

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19 hours ago, Cron said:

Yeah, as far as I know you're right to question how Ellaria became the ruler of Dorne.  I think at a bare minimum it's something that should have been explained a lot better (maybe rules of succession in Dorne somehow explain it???).  It's possible there are plausible explanations, but they just weren't explained.  

There are a lot of similar questions about how Cersei became queen after Tommen died, too.  Again, it's possible it makes sense, we just weren't told.  

 

I also wonder how Ellaria achieved that goal. I suppose it's the same case as Cersei, they think she is capable of killing them while they sleep, meaning her SandSnakes are powerful. But I don't really understand why no one protests. With Cersei, it might be more difficult, given she has shown she has the power of the wildfire, but anyway, There should be some resistance among the nobility or even between the smallfolk, because these two queens have lost their minds.

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6 hours ago, CaptainTheo said:

Re Shireen getting burned, I was aware that this would also occur in the books, but under the impression that this was likely performed unilaterally by Mel, with Stannis not having any sort of role in it, given that Stannis is near Winterfell, while Mel, Selyse and Shireen are all at the Wall.

Admittedly I have not listened to the after-episode comments.

Well, I hear you.  I don't recall whether the show runner specifically mentioned Stannis when he was talking about what GRRM told them about the burning of Shireen or not.  Clearly, as you basically point out, it can't happen exactly the same in the books as it did in the show (since Stannis is separated from Mel, Selyse and Shireen, as you say), but I guess we'll just have to see.

For me, the burning of Shireen was the thing I disliked most about the show, and I'll like it even less if turns out that the showrunners made Stannis complicit in it if he's not complicit in it in the books. (I'm not a particularly big Stannis fan, I don't think he's a very good ruler or leader at all, but I DON'T believe he would ever agree to burn Shireen, either, so unless GRRM says it's canon then what the showrunners did with Stannis will make it an even heavier mark against the show in my mind)

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3 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

I also wonder how Ellaria achieved that goal. I suppose it's the same case as Cersei, they think she is capable of killing them while they sleep, meaning her SandSnakes are powerful. But I don't really understand why no one protests. With Cersei, it might be more difficult, given she has shown she has the power of the wildfire, but anyway, There should be some resistance among the nobility or even between the smallfolk, because these two queens have lost their minds.

Well, they are open questions for sure, but there are possibilities.

Look at Jon Snow, named King in the North by acclamation.  Jon was very popular and the unifying "glue" that held the factions in the north together, so they just proclaimed him king.  If I recall correctly, I believe the Sand Snakes are very popular in Dorne, too, probably both with the military and the people, especially cuz Oberyn was so popular.  In fact, maybe it's that simple.  Doran is dead, Oberyn is dead, Trystane is dead, and Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are the last remaining ties to those very popular relatives of theirs (indeed, as I recall, Oberyn in particular was basically a legendary folk hero.  Maybe the military and the people at large just simply agreed with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes a lot more than they agreed with Doran about what should be done about Oberyn's death)

But hey, I'm just bouncing ideas around, not claiming I know "The Truth."

Regarding Cersei, as you've probably seen around here, there's a theory that she and Jaime actually ARE the legitimate heirs, based (bizarrely enough) on a Baratheon in their ancestry (as I recall, it's not technically canon, but close)  My guess is that Cersei, in additon to using the doctrine of "might makes right," is making at least some claim to the throne, no matter how weak, and there's just no one else left in King's Landing powerful enough to challenge her on it.

But again, just bouncing ideas around.  We've been given very sparse information in both cases.  There were gaps in the story-telling in both cases (during which important stuff could have been said and done), and we know very little about other possible claimants and how strong their claims might be.  

ARE there other Martells and Baratheons who could make claims??  I would think so.  They were both major houses for a very long time, and it seems hard for me to believe that the Martells were wiped out with the deaths of just three people (Oberyn, Doran and Trystane), or that the Baratheons were wiped out with the deaths we have seen in that family.  My goodness, almost everyone I personally know has more relatives than that, and the people I know are not great familes in major houses with castles and lands that stretch for miles and miles.  How many people do you know that don't have more than three or four relatives??  Personally, I can only think of ONE person I know like that, and I think it's very rare.

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The show comes out each year around about the time it is supposed to (deadline time), I most certainly wish the books were like this!

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There are several things I thought that were a little bit better on the show.

1) The ages of characters, I thought a lot of the plot and characterization that did survive the adaption did profit from the older characters and I will say right now that when I'm reading I imagine the characters at their show ages. 

2) Margaery. In the book she hardly appears on page (the most we hear from her is Cersei rambling about her) and to me her book self seems very much Olenna's pawn, while show Margaery was capable of taking her own actions and unlike in the books a certain amount of Margaery's (and the Tyrell's) affection for Sansa seemed genuine (why else would they stand in for Sansa's family at her wedding or why would Margaery encourage Sansa to give Tyrion a chance?) or at the very least was less blatantly fake. Plus Dormer is a first class actress. Of course her Margaery was pretty much her Anne Boleyn transplanted into Westeros (but that's not a bad thing) Show Mageaery's death is the first in the whole franchise (book or show) since Renly that upset me and at least with Renly I could rationalize that, for all his gallant and decorative behaviour, he was still a warmonger. 

3) There's some minor characters I found more enjoyable on the show; Gilly (which has a lot to do with how the actress portrays the character), Tormund (which has a lot to do with the way the actor looks), Lyanna Mormont and Shae (until they derailed her character in order to shoehorn her back into the necessary role from the book). And while I find Olenna very, very enjoyable in the books as well, Diana Rigg ups the ante on that.

4) Eliminating Stannis and giving the Battle of Winterfell to Jon: Call me a fanboy, but imho watching one (well two) of the Big Five reclaim his/their childhood home is more entertaining than watching an (imho) uninteresting second-stringer take Winterfell (or having it happen off screen, we don't know yet what exactly will happen there) 

5)  Finally admitting that Jon is alive (a-duuuuuuuuuuuuh) and that he's Rhaegar's and Lyannas (a-double-duhhhhhhhhhhhh).

6) The release schedule. In a few months we'll have Season 7 (or season 7a, whatever they're gonna call it)....Winds of Winter is....where?

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I've given up on GRRM ever finishing the series.

 

So, right now I'd say the most important thing I like better about the show is that we'll have a conclusion. Not as good as Martin's conclusion, but it's better than nothing considering the time we've invested into the incredible saga he started.

 

 

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On 27/1/2017 at 7:48 AM, Cron said:

Well, they are open questions for sure, but there are possibilities.

Look at Jon Snow, named King in the North by acclamation.  Jon was very popular and the unifying "glue" that held the factions in the north together, so they just proclaimed him king.  If I recall correctly, I believe the Sand Snakes are very popular in Dorne, too, probably both with the military and the people, especially cuz Oberyn was so popular.  In fact, maybe it's that simple.  Doran is dead, Oberyn is dead, Trystane is dead, and Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are the last remaining ties to those very popular relatives of theirs (indeed, as I recall, Oberyn in particular was basically a legendary folk hero.  Maybe the military and the people at large just simply agreed with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes a lot more than they agreed with Doran about what should be done about Oberyn's death)

But hey, I'm just bouncing ideas around, not claiming I know "The Truth."

Regarding Cersei, as you've probably seen around here, there's a theory that she and Jaime actually ARE the legitimate heirs, based (bizarrely enough) on a Baratheon in their ancestry (as I recall, it's not technically canon, but close)  My guess is that Cersei, in additon to using the doctrine of "might makes right," is making at least some claim to the throne, no matter how weak, and there's just no one else left in King's Landing powerful enough to challenge her on it.

But again, just bouncing ideas around.  We've been given very sparse information in both cases.  There were gaps in the story-telling in both cases (during which important stuff could have been said and done), and we know very little about other possible claimants and how strong their claims might be.  

ARE there other Martells and Baratheons who could make claims??  I would think so.  They were both major houses for a very long time, and it seems hard for me to believe that the Martells were wiped out with the deaths of just three people (Oberyn, Doran and Trystane), or that the Baratheons were wiped out with the deaths we have seen in that family.  My goodness, almost everyone I personally know has more relatives than that, and the people I know are not great familes in major houses with castles and lands that stretch for miles and miles.  How many people do you know that don't have more than three or four relatives??  Personally, I can only think of ONE person I know like that, and I think it's very rare.

To me it's very clear Ellaria and Cersei's claim is the claim of fear. I highly doubt Cersei is Queen because she has said she is a legitimate heir after what she has done: she clearly doesn't care about that and doesn't want to be a "legitimate" Queen connected to her husband's blood at this point.

And popularity claim is ridiculous. It's how it works, but this is because they don't write the show properly. When they elect Jon as King when the real heir (supposing they think Bran is dead which they are not sure but I'm not gonnatalk about this) is in the same room is just absurd. It is even more absurd when you realize Jon didn't even win the battle and he is known for previous desertion, and Sansa actually brought the Vale forces on time. They should suppose Sansa and Jon didn't know about the Vale forces (because no one can't believe they hadn't talked about this if Sansa knew it) so in theory Sansa, in a desperate attempt, tried and convinced LF to bring The Vale in the last moment. She has the same merit as Jon if anyting.

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3 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

To me it's very clear Ellaria and Cersei's claim is the claim of fear. I highly doubt Cersei is Queen because she has said she is a legitimate heir after what she has done: she clearly doesn't care about that and doesn't want to be a "legitimate" Queen connected to her husband's blood at this point.

I hear you.  Like I said, I think there's a whole lot of "might makes right" going on, but I'm guessing Cersie has a "fig leaf" claim about her "right" to the throne as well, and there's just no one left in King's Landing to challenge her "fig leaf" claim.

Quote

And popularity claim is ridiculous. It's how it works, but this is because they don't write the show properly. When they elect Jon as King when the real heir (supposing they think Bran is dead which they are not sure but I'm not gonnatalk about this) is in the same room is just absurd. It is even more absurd when you realize Jon didn't even win the battle and he is known for previous desertion, and Sansa actually brought the Vale forces on time. They should suppose Sansa and Jon didn't know about the Vale forces (because no one can't believe they hadn't talked about this if Sansa knew it) so in theory Sansa, in a desperate attempt, tried and convinced LF to bring The Vale in the last moment. She has the same merit as Jon if anyting.

Good stuff, but I don't think either Bran or Jon is really interested in ruling, yet ironically enough I think both of them have even bigger roles to play.  I think Sansa is going to end up ruling Winterfell, and Arya and Gendry are going to end up married and living in Storm's End.

I think Jon and Bran, though, will transcend such things.

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2 hours ago, Cron said:

Good stuff, but I don't think either Bran or Jon is really interested in ruling, yet ironically enough I think both of them have even bigger roles to play.  I think Sansa is going to end up ruling Winterfell, and Arya and Gendry are going to end up married and living in Storm's End.

I think Jon and Bran, though, will transcend such things.

I agree, they both will have bigger roles. Bran at least in the books, and let's hope in the show as well. However, not liking to rule doesn't mean you won't have to.

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19 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

I agree, they both will have bigger roles. Bran at least in the books, and let's hope in the show as well. However, not liking to rule doesn't mean you won't have to.

 

Very true, one of them may have to do it whether they like it or not.  In fact, even though I predicted Sansa will rule Winterfell, she's not even one of the 5 major characters we were once told would definitely survive the current series run.

Between Bran and Jon, I'd say Bran would be more likely to be forced into it.  He is the heir, after all, plus Jon has already "been there, done that" and is kind of broken in certain ways.   This is a good thing, though, cuz Bran is smarter than Jon, and would make a better ruler anyway in my opinion.  (Not many people talk about this very much, but we are given information repeatedly that Bran is quite smart.  We are told it and shown it, over and over.  In fact, I'd say the three most intelligent characters are Tyrion, Bran and Lyanna Mormont, and not necessarily int hat order.  In fact, I may start a new topic on this.)

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On 1/27/2017 at 1:34 PM, Neds Secret said:

The show comes out each year around about the time it is supposed to (deadline time), I most certainly wish the books were like this!

I came to believe that the big reason of the The Winds of Winter continuing delays is some sort of contractual obligation between HBO and GRRM. No matter how much they both say how the show is an adaptation, and a separate entity, both the books and the show are tied inseparably. I would think that by now the bigger problem is coordinating the TV Season airing and release of the book so that one doesn't hamper the success of the other. The way i see it, either the book comes out before the season premiere, or more plausibly after it, possibly tying it to some date that would be most profitable for the book sales in the US. Best that we can hope I think would be Christmas time 2017

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3 hours ago, Cron said:

 

Very true, one of them may have to do it whether they like it or not.  In fact, even though I predicted Sansa will rule Winterfell, she's not even one of the 5 major characters we were once told would definitely survive the current series run.

Between Bran and Jon, I'd say Bran would be more likely to be forced into it.  He is the heir, after all, plus Jon has already "been there, done that" and is kind of broken in certain ways.   This is a good thing, though, cuz Bran is smarter than Jon, and would make a better ruler anyway in my opinion.  (Not many people talk about this very much, but we are given information repeatedly that Bran is quite smart.  We are told it and shown it, over and over.  In fact, I'd say the three most intelligent characters are Tyrion, Bran and Lyanna Mormont, and not necessarily int hat order.  In fact, I may start a new topic on this.)

Yes, so true, Bran is so smart! It would be nice if you start a topic!

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1 hour ago, Meera of Tarth said:

Yes, so true, Bran is so smart! It would be nice if you start a topic!

Glad you like the topic idea.  I already submitted it, it's pending right now.

I ranked the top 3 smartest characters, in order, and explained why (basically about a paragraph for each of them).

Hopefully it will display soon (I submitted it about four hours ago, right after i posted the idea to you.)

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